Late-Season Hunting Can be Fantastic
PRATT — Weather, work, family commitments, and just sheer luck can have a lot to do with how much time you spend hunting during the season. If you’re looking to end your hunting seasons on a high note, or just want to see your dog work one more time before stowing away your gear, consider participating in a late-season hunt.
Kansas has several hunting seasons to keep you in the field through January, and goose hunting opportunities to keep your dog at work through early spring.
Depending on weather and snow cover, numbers of geese can steadily build in late January and early February around Kansas reservoirs and wetlands. The Canada and light goose seasons are open now and close Feb. 14, 2016, and the white-fronted goose season final segment is Jan. 23-Feb. 14, 2016.
When Feb. 15 hits, try your luck at hunting snow and Ross’ geese. During the Light Goose Conservation Order, Feb. 15-April 30, 2016, hunters are allowed to take an unlimited number of these birds in an effort to reduce populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established this special season to boost the harvest of light geese, a population that has increased more than 300 percent since the mid-1970s. These historic numbers of geese have denuded portions of their fragile tundra breeding habitat in the arctic, which may take decades to recover. This impacts other bird species that nest there, including semi-palmated sandpipers and red-necked phalaropes.
To increase hunter success, the conservation order authorizes hunting methods not allowed during the regular seasons, including the use of electronic calls, unplugged shotguns, and shooting hours one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
And the pheasant, quail and greater prairie chicken seasons are open through Jan. 31, 2016, so there’s still time to get in a hunt or two.
Other late-season hunting opportunities that are great for the youth in your life include crow, exotic dove, furbearer, rabbit, and squirrel.
For season specifics, consult the 2015 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary, or visit ksoutdoors.com and click “Hunting.”